Today’s Reading: Romans 16:3-16
Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.
When we decide to follow Christ, we are called to serve Him alongside His people. In his greetings to the Church in Rome, Paul encourages his co-workers in the faith. They are Jews and Gentiles, women and men. Some have been persecuted and imprisoned for their faith. Others have been led to host Church gatherings in their homes. All continue to serve and live for God. By acknowledging these people and sending them greetings on behalf of the other co-workers of Christ, Paul emphasizes every individual who serves Christ is at work within the One Church Body. He recognizes the wider scope of fellowship, worship, and ministry that is happening among the people. Paul knows that because of their united faith in Christ, each individual is part of one fellowship.
The Church is united by Christ. Paul in his greetings and writings has one goal for the Church: to remain one Church under God through the Gospel of Jesus. When we think of “our” Church today, we must remember it as being synonymous with “the” Church of Christ. The specific ministries held within congregations are wonderful spaces in which we see God move and work. And even greater is the one work of God to which each of these contribute. Our co-workers in Christ are not only located in our same neighborhood, but also in other cities, regions, countries around the world. When we worship God, we do so with many brothers and sisters we have yet to meet. When we serve Him, we work alongside others and build upon what the Body of Christ has established generations before us. We are not called to serve by ourselves. We are called to serve with the others of like mind.
So as we serve Christ together, let us continue to work where He has rooted us, in the capacities that He has given to us. And let us also be continually encouraged and enriched by the reminder that the work we do for our Lord and Savior is not offered by itself, but instead is part of a much larger work that He is designing and building through His whole Church Body. We are each a part of Christ’s Church which serves and glorifies God together.
Almighty God, thank You for the blessing of being included in Your great Plan. Thank You for inviting me into the work that You are doing through Your Church, Your Bride. As I seek to glorify You, Lord, remind me of my co-workers in the faith. Help me to encourage and support them, that we as Your Church Body would glorify You together. I pray this prayer in Jesus’ Name, AMEN.
Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Biblestudytools.com): Romans 16; 2 Samuel 1; Psalm 72